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Ames Public Library
is a department of
the City of Ames.

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Support the Ames Public Library
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Volunteering at the Ames Public Library

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Every year, over 400 volunteers help support the Ames community by helping with various aspects of library services. We strive to match eager volunteers with rewarding positions to enhance the services and programming that Ames Public Library offers. APL Volunteer Services also works with court-ordered Community Services participants as well as library customers who would like like to address their fines by participating in our Fine Alternative Program.

Who can Volunteer?

Participants in Volunteer Services programming must be 11 years of age or older. Some exceptions may be made for groups of children completing service learning projects through school or other organizations.  Additionally, because family volunteering is encouraged at APL, younger children are welcome to volunteer with their parents or grandparents.

How to Sign Up

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities, including the summer youth volunteer program, community service, and fine alternative programs, or would like more information, contact the Volunteer Services Coordinator at or (515) 239-5663.

Volunteer Opportunities

Ames Public Library has a variety of volunteer positions available for adults, teenagers, and families who are interested in making a positive impact on the Ames community and its quality of life. Here is a list of some of the volunteer opportunities available. If you have a particular interest or skill area not listed here, please talk to the Volunteer Services Coordinator about other opportunities.


Help our custodial staff keep up with the care of our beautiful new building. Shifts are very flexible. Activities could include cleaning glass, dusting shelves, or emptying trash.


Our media items are some of the most highly circulating library materials and because of that, we need some help keeping them in good shape.  Volunteers will assist Resource Services staff with inventory and checking discs for damage.  Schedules are flexible but need to be limited to afternoon hours.


Volunteers are needed to assist Youth Services staff in organizing materials for Project Smyles visits and potentially with deliveries to area daycares/preschools.  The schedule will be varied depending on visits but volunteers should anticipate helping on a weekly basis.


Our Teen Advisory Group, as a representative of APL Friends Foundation, is organizing a zombie-themed 5K Fun Run fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 19. We will be needing a variety of help including registering participants, checking in participants, distributing water and snacks, parking attendant, officiating throughout the course, etc.  More specific information soon will be posted soon but if you’d like to be involved, let me know.


Help support our fundraising efforts through our variety of book sales by organizing donations including sorting, boxing, and storing.  We especially need help on a weekly basis to box pre-sorted donations. The schedule for this is flexible but we will need at least weekly assistance with this.


Organize our Magazine Exchange.  We are looking for someone who can help manage the magazine donations used to support the Exchange.  Weekly help is needed to process the donations and recycle unused magazines. 


Come join a wonderful team of volunteers who help our used book store, Literary Grounds, be the success that it is!  Funds raised through the book store help to support library programming, materials, and services.  This fun position requires at least one two hour shift per week; shifts needing to be filled currently are Mondays 3:00-5:00, Saturdays 2:00-4:00 and Sundays 12:30-4:00.  Duties include simple cashiering, light cleaning, coffee preparation, and closing procedures.  Applicants for this position must have good customer service skills, accurate money counting skills, and can commit long term. 


A volunteer is needed to help distribute program fliers throughout the Main Street area and, if possible, beyond.  The commitment for this position is once or twice per month.  Transportation will be needed to reach locations outside of the downtown area. 


If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Volunteer Services Coordinator, Sarah Bohlke at or 239-5663.


There are other areas of volunteer needs not listed here including special projects and events, so please ask about opportunities that may be of more interest to you. 

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For more information, call (515) 239-5663 or e-mail